Week in review for the Los Angeles Clippers

December 30th, 2012

 

The winning streak for the LA Clippers seems to have no ending. The 12-game winning streak was extended to 16 during this past week, when the team won each and every game it played. They have now broken by far the franchise history record for the most wins in a row, previously hold by the Buffalo Braves during the 1974-75 season.
The Clippers broke out against the Suns at Phoenix to record their 13th straight, 103-77 was the final score. Griffin and Paul led the team with 23 and 17 points respectively and also got a great help form reserve sixth man Jamal Crawford who finished with 22.

The next victim for the surging Clippers was the Denver Nuggets. Jamal Crawford once again had a great output with 22 points to go along with 8 rebounds off the bench and Matt Barnes provided a huge burst off the bench with 20 points. Barnes has proven to be a great off-season acquisition for this Clippers team and is utilized the best way possible by Head Coach Vinnie Del Negro. The whole bench performed well at this game, as it does most of the times this season.

The winning flow continued for the 15th consecutive time for LA on Thursday night. This time it was the Celtics who got hit and smashed by the razing Clippers who beat the Celtics by 29 points, 77-109. Matt Barnes tied his season-high with 21 points off the bench, while fellow reserve Jamal Crawford finished the game with 17. The more the Clippers win the more it’s clearly shown that the team possesses a roster with great depth and with a tremendous chemistry between the starters and the bench. Of course, Coach Vinnie Del Negro has found the secret recipe on how to utilize all the ingredients the best way and that’s how the team manages to stay red hot for all those games until now this season.

Last game of the week came against the Utah Jazz. It was a really close game with a dramatic finish, but the Clips managed to get away with a close win, 116-114. It is very important for any team to win all games, including tough and close ones and even when they are not attaining their best performance. That was the story on Friday night at the Energy Solutions Arena, when the Jazz throttled their way to a 36 point second quarter, while holding LA down to just 19. The deficit got up to 16 points for Utah, but Chris Paul came up big, scoring all of the last seven points for his team, including some clutch free throws to give his team the win.

The Clippers will finish the year facing again the Utah Jazz, this time at the Staples Center and then start the next year with the best omens. First game of 2013 comes on Tuesday the 1st against the Nuggets on the road. The Clippers then continue their road trip and on Wednesday they face the Golden State Warriors. Last two games for the first week of 2013 are against the LA Lakers and then again the Golden State Warriors, both of them at home.



The Los Angeles Clippers extend their winning streak to 14

December 26th, 2012

 

It’s now 14 and counting for the LA Clippers who now hold the longest winning streak in the NBA this season and of course they have already recorder the longest winning streak in the history of the franchise. This time it was the Denver Nuggets who fell to the top formed LA team, 112-100 on the last game of the Christmas Day.

As usual, the Clippers bench turned on fire but this time they didn’t wait till the last quarter, as they usually do. Instead they picked up their performance right from the start. They managed to score a season-high 42 points in the second quarter, while holding their opponents to just 22. The bench scored 28 of those 42 points and the lead was extended to 67-48 by halftime. That outburst was enough to give LA the win and all they really had to do was to just maintain their advantage through the next half. Crawford with 22 points, Barnes with 20 and Eric Bledsoe with 12 points led the way for the Clippers. The starters also performed well but didn’t have to do anything more than to just keep the engine warm, as the reserves had already done the dirty job. The exciting crowd in the Staples Center had the opportunity to enjoy a perfect Christmas Day game that included several highflying dunks and breakaway highlight moments, with Blake Griffin being the protagonist once again. He finished with 13 points while Chris Paul had 14 to go along with 8 assists. Lamar Odom had a smooth performance with 6 points and also 10 rebounds. “We had good bench production tonight, especially in that second quarter, and at the end of the third a little bit to withstand their run. Just a good, overall team effort.” Said Clippers Coach Vinnie Del Negro.

The Clippers are now lying at the top of the Western Conference with a 22-6 record and also have the best record in the entire league, after Oklahoma City fell to the Miami Heat a few hours before. “It’s nice, but it’s Christmas and we have a long way to … a lot of games to play and a lot of improving to do.” , said Coach Vinnie Del Negro, meaning that the team shouldn’t rest on their up to this point successful run.

For the Nuggets, starting center Kostas Koufos had a great game with 16 points and 10 rebounds and Ty Lawson finished with 15. However, their star forward Danillo Gallinari was ice-cold shooting just 1-10 from the field to finish with 7 points.
The game at Staples Center started just 7.30 hours after the Lakers game was finished and it was really challenging for the stadium’s staff to have everything set up till tipoff. The Clippers have now improved to a 13-3 record at home.

The last two games of 2012 for the Clippers come against the Utah Jazz. First one is on Friday on the road and the last one, Sunday night at the Staples Center.



The Clippers get past the Chicago Bulls to record their seventh straight win

December 16th, 2012

 

Not only was the seventh straight win for Vinnie Del Negro’s team, but in fact it’s the longest streak since the 1991-92 season, when they got an eight-game run. And what a great game it was. Huge dunks from Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and even Carlos Boozer and other players, great rhythm and a Grand Guignol finale with the clutch shot of Chris Paul with 27” remaining. The crowd in Chicago and all of the fans watching surely enjoyed it. Griffin put down some ferocious dunks that will surely be marked as the top plays in the week, probably the month, including a fast break double alley-hoop that resulted in him dunking with authority over Marco Belinelli, knocking him over.

Griffin finished with a team high 22 points on 10-19 shooting and also grabbed 10 boards. Chris Paul added 18 points including the shot that decided the game for the Clippers, a tough penetrating shot that extended the lead to 4 points, making it a two possession game for his team. For yet another game, the bench performed really well, providing solutions in scoring and keeping the team engine in full speed when the starters catch a breath on the bench. Matt Barnes finished with 14 points and Jamal Crawford added 10 to go along with 5 assists. In fact, that balance between the starters and the bench might be the secret weapon for team. That’s because the good performance from the reserves give the chance to the starters spend enough minutes resting on the bench, thus performing better when they get on.

The game started with both teams being energetic and aggressive on offense. But it was the Clippers who made a run to finish the second quarter, scoring 6 straight to open the gap to 7 points at the break. “The end of the second quarter changed the game. We started dancing with the ball.” ,said Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau.LA really got off and ran a lot on fast-breaks and finished with some beautiful highlight dunks and assists. All-star guard Chris Paul stated “I think that shows we are a defensive team.”

The Bulls, who average 4 three-pointers so far, had a season-high 10 made in the game, shooting 50% (10-20) from beyond the arc. Carlos Boozer led both teams in scoring with 24 and Marco Belinelli had18 with four made shots from downtown. Only 8 players played in for Chicago, including Kirk Heinrich who started at guard, after missing the second half of Saturday’s game with a hyperextended elbow.

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The Clippers continue their road trip with next stop being the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday. Milwaukee and Detroit follow. The Bulls, whose 3 game winning streak ended last night, fly to Philadelphia to face the Sixers on Wednesday.



Lob city rejoices as Clippers win the Wolves 101-95 at Staples Center

December 1st, 2012

 

On a night marked by the fight between Nets and Celtics players, LA Clippers win a close game by six, to improve to a 9-6 record. The tension was really high at Boston, when with a little more than 30” before the finish of the first half and after Kevin Garnett was fouled by Kris Humphries, a fight started at Boston. Rondo immediately attacked Humphries pushing him off the court and it didn’t take too long before almost every player of both teams got into the fight. The result was the ejection of both of them and also Gerald Wallace. Rondo was suspended for two games.

Back to the Staples center, where the alley – hoops and the dunks were on abundance, the Clippers were glad to see Chauncey Billups make his season debut. The 15-year veteran watched his season end last February when he tore his left Achilles’ tendon. But after nine months, returned healthy and strong to give more power and scoring options for LA. Not bad at all for the five time all-star guard who finished with 7 first quarter points and 1 three-pointer.

The Game was close almost the whole way, with the Clippers finishing the first half with a slight 2 – point advantage. The game came down to the last minutes of the fourth quarter and it was tight. Minnesota was down 2 with almost one minute before the end and had possession but the Clippers locked down on D and came with the steal. On the break Paul fed DeAndre Jordan who slammed it down and got the foul. But Shved hit a clutch 3 pointer with just 24 second to go to trim the lead down to 2. But Lob City kept on going. They inbounded quickly and advanced to half court and before Minnesota was able to foul, Billups threw a long alley – hoop to Jordan who put the icing on the cake with a ferocious dunk.

Chris Paul finally had a good scoring outcome with 23 points on 7-13 shooting and also recorded 11 assists. Blake Griffin finished with 18 points and produced highlight materiel with his high flying and alley-hoop dunks. Jordan, Barnes and Crawford all finished with double digit points. As for the Timberwolves, Kevin Love scored 19 points and grabbed 12 rebounds and the rookie Alexey Shved had 17 points with 3-6 from beyond the arc.
“A great win for us in terms of getting some of our energy back and working Chauncey into the lineup. I thought everybody contributed.” said Clippers’ coach Vinnie Del Negro. Next for the LA Clippers, Saturday vs Sacramento Kings and for the Wolves, Tuesday at Philadelphia against the 76ers.



Brooklyn takes out the Clippers

November 25th, 2012

 

Nets top Clippers, to make the 7-4 record, on a night with lots of highlight moments.It was a really fun game. How could it not be? Two talented team with many superstars on the floor, lots of highflyers and shot blockers.

The game was really tight at the beginning. The Clippers managed to get a lot of easy points early on, with good ball movement and many dishes. Once again we saw some really nice dunks and alley oops. The first period ended with the teams tied at 25 and the Clippers in fact held a 7 point advantage by the end of the first half. Then, at the second half, Brooklyn became really stronger and more competitive thus allowing only 10 baskets in the second half and containing Chris Paul and Blake Griffin at the offensive end. They both finished with 14 points each. Clippers made lots of mistakes, especially in the second half (20 in total) and lost some easy chances to get back in to the game. But they just couldn’t make that happen. Not with Paul being scoreless in the last quarter. Little help was given by the rest of the crew, with Jordan finishing with 12 points and 13 rebounds and Crawford with 14 points. All other Clipper players finished with single digits. Coach Del Negro stated after the game”The turnovers really hurt us tonight. We didn’t shoot the basketball. We missed a lot of easy shots”

On the other hand, the Nets got a really nice game from Brook Lopez, who finished with a game high 26 points and some really nice dunks to fire things up. Williams had 11 points and 8 assist, but his shot continue to struggle 3 of 10 from the field. Joe Johnson contributed with 19 to help the Nets end their 2 game losing streak. We just tried to make things as hard as possible for him,” Williams said. Reggie Evans really showed up off the bench and provided a nice boost to finish with 6 points and 12 rebounds against his former team.
Sitting among the fans at the Barclays Center, Nets co-owner Jay-Z with his wife and star singer Beyoncé, Kelly Rowland and other stars. With something less than 2 minutes before the end of the 3rd quarter, there were some pretty loud chants of “Overrated, Overrated” against Griffing, causing him to miss a pair of free throws right after. Next one for the Clippers, Saturday at Atlanta and for the Nets Sunday vs Portland.



How is the Clippers season going?

November 25th, 2012

 

LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS 2012-2013. UP TO DATE SEASON REVIEW
Which team comes in mind when you hear Los Angeles? Let me guess, the Lakers. Well, this is about to change, if it hasn’t already changed, at least this season in the NBA. The Clippers are making their presence felt for sure. They did so right from the start of the off-season.
The team seems to have found the missing pieces after last season’s rebirth. All-star point guard Chris Paul landed in LA, but wearing White and Red instead of Lakers purple-yellow. And it was a huge acquisition by the team. Lob city they’re called and for a good reason. It just makes sense having a strong duo at the front court, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan and balancing it with top tier perimeter guard like Paul and Jamal Crawford and Caron Butler. Even the bench looks good, in fact really good and with lots of potential. A big question mark lies in the stakes of Lamar Odom. He watched his career melt down after the Lakers Trade fiasco, was sent to D-League and wasn’t utilized by the Mavericks. This year, he is trying to revamp his game but till now he hasn’t contributed much. If he founds his rhythm he can play a huge role in the Clippers’ chase of a top playoff spot.

The Clippers are getting quite a performance out of Jamal Crawford who leads the team in scoring with a little over 19 PPG followed by Griffin and Paul with 17 and 15 PPG. For a team with that much size and the lack of true Centers in the NBA, the team is not performing that good at rebounding, ranked 20th in the whole league but generally, defense is quite good as the team is 4th in blocking and 1st in steals. If fact we’ve seen some amazing blocks this far from DeAndre Jordan and Griffin. The 8-4 start shows that the team has much potential. It’s for sure a playoff caliber team and with and due to the youth of key players like Griffin, Paul and Jordan this team can have an even brighter future, with a couple of tweaks.

Head coach Vinnie Del Negro is a rather respected coach, who seems to know what the team needs to spark up and inherit a quick and energetic rhythm of play. He’s managed to make the team a strong presence in the Western Division and overcome the obstacle of having a giant rival in town (Lakers). Clippers’ game is just a joy to watch, with this fast-paced rhythm and the alley oops towards Griffin and Jordan. It’s a team which gives us pretty much highlight material almost every time and fills with enthusiasm fans watching at the Staples Center.

One thing is for sure. When people hear about the Clippers, it’s not going to be a joke any more.

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Good start for the Clippers

November 12th, 2012

 

Typically an NBA club would be ecstatic over a 5-2 start that includes a big win over the San Antonio Spurs. The Los Angeles Clippers find themselves in that position, leading the Pacific Division six games in. Unfortunately for Clippers fans those two losses are head scratchers, both at home to Golden State and Cleveland.

This proves that once again the Clippers are nothing but consistent in their lack of consistency. Even with that lack of consistency the Clips are in a solid position in the Pacific division, especially with the heavily favored Lakers occupying last place in the Pacific.

Of course it’s that lack of consistency that puzzles Clippers fans as well as a handful of other lingering questions marks like:

The Coaching Situation: Like his former Staples Center colleague Mike Brown, Vinny Del Negro is the target of constant criticism and bemusement from the pundits. A large part of the Clippers inconsistency is a perceived lack of effort at times and some real ups and downs on the defensive end. Any time a team with the sheer athleticism of the Clippers struggles as much as they do on the defensive boards and defending the basket (opponents shooting 60% at the rim) the coach is going to receive some heat. The Clippers can likely coast to a fifty-win season based on their sheer depth and athleticism inside. Unfortunately it’s during playoff basketball that you become exposed, exhibit A being the San Antonio Spurs series last season. Until the Clippers make a deep playoff run and beat a team like San Antonio the question marks regarding Del Negro’s coaching ability will remain.

Effort: Of course a lack of success on the defensive end can only partially be blamed on the scheme and head coach. The Clippers are consistently being outrebounded even though they boast arguably two of the top ten most athletic post players in basketball in Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. As Dennis Rodman and Kevin Love have shown rebounding is about a lot more than athletic ability, a huge part of it is hustle and desire. If the Lob City went after defensive boards like they did Chris Paul lob passes they wouldn’t be in a negative rebounding margin.

The Rotation: Beyond the defensive end another area where critics of Del Negro are constantly scratching their heads is his rotation. A prime example this year is the disparity in minutes between Willie Greene and Eric Bledsoe. Bledsoe has been one of the Clippers bright spots with his energy and ability to push the basketball, but for some reason his minutes have been half of those of Willie Green, with Bledsoe nearly doubling Greene in PER.

Admittedly it’s way too early to rip the rotation. This early in the season teams are typically trying to find out what their ideal rotation is. Still the construction of the Clippers roster can be a bit head-scratching at times. There are three guys whose best position is small forward in Matt Barnes, Grant Hill, and Caron Butler. Combine those three with two guys who also can play the three in Jamal Crawford and Lamar Odom and you have quite a glut at the swingman spot. At the point guard spot Chris Paul is clearly the team leader and top three NBA point guard—but behind Paul are two others guys that need minutes in Eric Bledsoe and Chauncey Billups (when he returns). It’s clear that Del Negro will have his work cut out for him in finding a consistent winning rotation while keeping everyone happy.

Question marks aside the Clippers are still 5-2 and in a great position. If they can overcome the occasional off-nights against poor clubs they are a real threat to win the Pacific Conference. Considering their still very much a young team it’s important they gain one of the top four seeds out west and avoid an early matchup against a team like San Antonio or Oklahoma City Thunder. The Clippers proved they have what it takes to make a playoff run last season. Now they need to prove they can make a deep run into the playoffs.



Heading up to Portland tonight

November 9th, 2012

 

The Los Angeles Clippers travel to Portland to face the well-rested Trail Blazers on Thursday. The Clippers dominated San Antonio for a 106-84 home win on Wednesday. Blake Griffin (22 points, 10 rebounds), DeAndre Jordan (20 points, 11 rebounds) and Chris Paul (10 points, 12 assists) all had double-doubles as the Clippers handed the Spurs their first loss of the season. The lopsided win allowed coach Vinny Del Negro to rest his key players.

Portland hasn’t played since Monday when it dropped a 114-91 decision at the Dallas Mavericks House. Rookie guard Damian Lillard has been one of the early season surprises in the league. Lillard, the No. 6 overall pick in the draft from Weber State, is second on the team in scoring with a 19.3 average. LaMarcus Aldridge is scoring 22 points a game to lead the Trail Blazers.

TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, TNT.

ABOUT THE TRAIL BLAZERS (2-2): Portland has been outscored in the fourth quarter of each game so the Trail Blazers are fortunate to be .500. The least productive bench in the NBA has a lot to do with the problems. Portland’s reserves have combined to score 51 points in four games. Rookie center Meyers Leonard, who has scored 14 points, and small forward Sasha Pavlovic, who has 10, are the only bench players to reach double figures for the season. Portland was outscored 31-12 in the fourth quarter of Monday’s loss.

ABOUT THE CLIPPERS (3-2): Injuries have played a major role in the early going for Los Angeles. Griffin, the Clippers’ All-Star forward, has been playing with a ruptured bursa sac in his right elbow and a strained neck. He’s averaging 17.4 points and 8.4 rebounds. Veterans Chauncey Billups and Grant Hill have yet to play. Billups is still recovering from Achilles’ tendon surgery last season while Hill has a bone bruise in his right knee. Jamal Crawford, who went into Wednesday averaging 24 points a game, was held to 10 against San Antonio.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. The Clippers won three of the four meetings last season.

2. Portland held a 23-2 advantage in offensive rebounds against Dallas, but lost the game by 23 points.

3. Los Angeles committed 15 turnovers Wednesday after turning the ball over 25 times in Monday’s loss to Cleveland.

PREDICTION: Trail Blazers 101, Clippers 90.

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2012-2013 Year of the Clippers

August 30th, 2012

 

Los Angeles Clippers 2012-2013

Los Angeles Clippers 2012-2013

Before last season, the Los Angeles Clippers had played a lot of roles, and none of them were good. They were tenants of their home arena, which everyone knew was the home of the Lakers, not the Clippers. They were the team that drafted Michael Olowokandi first overall ahead of Vince Carter, Dirk Nowitzki, and Paul Pierce. And then two offseasons ago, they took a chance again drafting an athletic, but seemingly fragile, big man in Blake Griffin, a move that hasnt worked out often in the past (oh hey, Greg Oden).

Then last year was different for the Clippers. After David Stern put the brakes on the deal that would have sent Chris Paul to the Lakers, the Clippers swooped in and nabbed the high-profile PG. With Chris Paul playing in LA a lot of things changed, Blake Griffin played out the season in a very effective campaign, and the Clippers jumped up the West high enough to grab the fifth seed in the playoffs.

And for the first time in, well, ever, the Clippers are entering the season with murmurs around the league of them being a dark horse pick for the Championship. While a championship is within sight for the Clippers, they still will need another few years before they can make it happen. The teams that battled in the Finals last year are only getting better. Not to mention the other team who plays in the Staples center isn’t looking too bad either. This doesn’t change the fact that the Clippers are a good team though.

In the offseason this season, the Clippers added a group of veterans. While none of the additions will crack the starting five, Lamar Odom, Grant Hill, Jamal Crawford, and Ronny Turiaf should all put up decent performances off the bench. As Blake Griffin and Eric Bledsoe get better, so will the Clippers, and both are young and talented players already.

The Clippers division though, seems out of reach. The likeliest scenario involves the newly reformed LA Lakers dominating their way to the Pacific crown. Any result other than that would be shocking considering the overwhelming predictability of basketball. The Clippers, though, will likely fall directly behind their landlords for the 2nd spot in the division.

the Clippers upcoming season is going to mark the movement of their franchise. If they do well, they will continue doing well. If they don’t, well, they’ll probably be back in the lottery before too long. If Chris Paul and Blake Griffin want to stay relevant, they’ll need to make sure they keep winning games.



Clippers facing Spurs in Game One

May 15th, 2012

 

Preview: L.A. Clippers At San Antonio

When: 9:30 PM ET, Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Where: AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas

THE STORY: The Los Angeles Clippers have to hope that too much rest will slow the San Antonio Spurs, who enter their Western Conference semifinal series riding a 14-game winning streak. San Antonio swept the Utah Jazz and has had seven days off as it prepares to host the hobbled Clippers in Game 1. The Spurs tied for the league’s best home record (28-5), but Los Angeles won twice on the road in dispatching Memphis, including a victory in Game 7.

TV: 9:30 p.m. ET, TNT

ABOUT THE CLIPPERS: Despite injuries to All-Stars Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, Los Angeles won a decisive Game 7 after blowing a 3-1 series lead. A 27-point comeback in Game 1 set the tone for the Clippers, who got a great performance from their bench in closing out Memphis. Griffin, dealing with a sprained left knee, played fewer than two minutes in the final quarter. Paul (hip) and Caron Butler (fractured hand) also are hurt, so it’s imperative that Los Angeles continues to get strong production from its reserves against the league’s deepest and most balanced team. The Clippers won one of three meetings with the Spurs behind a season high-tying 36 points from Paul.

ABOUT THE SPURS: San Antonio had its streak of 100-point games stopped at 13 in its series-clinching win over the Jazz. Yet, that game also illustrated the daunting task awaiting the Clippers. The Spurs got quiet games from point guard Tony Parker and forward Tim Duncan, but nine players were on the floor for at least 20 minutes. San Antonio’s offensive efficiency has been off the charts – entering the final two games at Utah, the team had averaged more than 114 points during a 12-game stretch. The Spurs also feature a different look since they lost to Los Angeles at home on March 9, adding starting C Boris Diaw and high-scoring swingman Stephen Jackson.

BUZZER BEATERS:

1. Duncan, 36, who averages 19.3 points and 10.7 boards lifetime against the Clippers, is well-rested after playing in only six games since April 17.

2. Los Angeles nailed 14 3-pointers – seven by Mo Williams – in its last win over the Spurs. San Antonio was the league’s top-ranked team from behind the arc in the regular season at 39.3 percent.

3. Parker sat out the loss to the Clippers in March after lighting them up for 30 points one month earlier.

PREDICTION: Spurs 104, Clippers 93.